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Israel army unveils electro-optic sight to intercept incendiary balloons

Palestinian children hold balloons before it be fly during a protest to break Israel's blockade on Gaza Strip near tents at Gaza-Israel border, in east of Gaza city on 7 August, 2018 [Mahmoud Ajour/Apaimages]

The Israeli army has developed “a smart electro-optic sight on assault rifles” that “makes it possible to follow moving targets such as incendiary balloons and kites and hit them accurately”, reported Globes.

“We have attained the ability to intercept kites, and we also have very good capabilities for the threat of incendiary balloons,” said Colonel Nadav Livne, the commander of the Israeli army’s Matmon unit, which focuses on technology research and development for ground forces.

“We have several interception methods, some in the very basic development stages, others already for immediate use in accordance with the operational field needs of the Gaza division,” he added.

According to Globes, the army’s new “capabilities against the threat from incendiary and explosive balloons and kites” are based on a “smart rifle sight” developed by a company called Smart Shooter.

READ: Israel warplane targets Palestinian kite-flyers in Gaza 

“The sight improves fire from assault rifles carried by soldiers that make it possible to accurately strike targets moving at high speed,” the paper added.

The Israeli military has already tested the new sight “among combat soldiers in the Golan, Paratrooper, and Givati Brigades”.

According to Globes, the Israeli army has previously “operated high-speed drones in an attempt to reduce the threat and trap the balloons and kites” dispatched from inside the occupied Gaza Strip.

Nevertheless, while the drones “hit hundreds of kites and balloons”, such strikes “were a drop in the ocean of the large numbers of kites and balloons launched…at all hours of the day and night.”

“There is always a learning competition between us and the enemy that includes assessment of the capabilities the other side, which is sophisticated, and learns quickly. Our job is to bring relevant technology as a solution,” Livne said.

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